Test Kitchen tips: Slashing a fish before cooking
Ever wonder why a recipe recommends slashing a fish before cooking? Slicing through the skin and flesh of a whole fish before cooking helps the heat (of a grill, oven, etc.) to enter the fish more easily, allowing the fish to cook evenly. Slashing the fish also allows for your seasoning to penetrate the fish evenly, and makes it a little easier for you to visually tell when the fish has reached proper doneness.
The number of slashes and depth of each slash will vary from fish to fish and recipe to recipe, but a good rule is to slice the thickest part of the fish, spacing the slashes every inch or so and making a clean slice through most of the flesh with each slash so the heat can evenly penetrate.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times